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tion, that the people should give them food and raiment for it? Did not the apostles say, "He that will not work let him not eat?' But from the whole practice of the apostles you are apostatized. And are not your covetous practices discovered through all the courts, sessions, and assizes in the nation? You posting up thither, and suing, and causing them to go thither you do no work for—what is this but covetousness and unrighteousness ?
P. •The Quakers say, that the priests are persecutors like the priests and Pharisees of old; but they shall be taught one day to know, that if the magistrate stops their mouths, he does no more persecute them, than a thief when he is hanged,' &c. You say, you wish all the Lord's people were prophets.'
A. This is a lie found in your mouths; for you say prophesying is ceased; this
sound abroad all the world over, as far as you can. This shows that you are not able to stop their mouths, nor resist the spirits of those of whom you say, it will be no more persecution for the magistrate to stop their mouths, than to hang a thief. And thus to all magistrates that fear God, you appear with shame; and all may see what you crouch for under the mountains, for blood, Jezebel like, and make the magistrates your pack-horses, and the executioners of your malice. But the Lord God of heaven and earth, in his wisdom, is opening the eyes of many; that moderation appears in such in whose hearts the fear of the Lord is placed, that tries many
and turns many of
you to your own weapons, to see what weapons you have, and they find you but wrestlers against flesh and blood, striking at the creatures, not at the power which captivates them, to bring them out of it into the liberty of the sons of God. The true ministers' work was to beat down blasphemers, errors, and false prophets; to stop the mouths of gainsayers; rebuke, exhort, teach, instruct with all authority, and cut off occasions with spiritual wcapons. And this power had they in the church, and cried not to the magistrate, 'take them away, they disturb me.' Oh! shameless! shame thyself before all the people in the congregation! This was not the work of the ministers of Christ to do so. And this authority in the church, before mentioned, which the ministers of Christ had to stop the mouths of gainsayers, and silence false prophets and blasphemers, they had from God, and looked not at men to help them; but they who apostatized from the apostles, the beast, the false prophet, the mother of harlots, that deceived the nations, that were out of the power of the apostles and Christ, have had their power from men; all the false ministers upon carth are sceking to them to stop blasphemers as they imagine, being but contrary to their minds, while they themselves are the blasphemers, as weighed and judged by the scriptures and spirit of truth. And the magistrates' work, the power
which he receives from God, is to punish profane open sins; and the ministers' work is to bring people from under that occasion.
P. “The magistrates set their guards at our doors, and let in none but whom they please. Let the kings of the earth show an uninterrupted succession, giving them right to their crowns, and I will show a more undoubted succession to the ministry. All the Christians in our parishes are our flock, we undertake to prove the truth of such churches.'
A. Your church is guarded with carnal weapons, and the succession of your ministry is like unto the succession of earthly kings' croins, which are all made by the will of men. And the magistrates hare been but your servants, and through ignorance have quenched the spirit. And your work hath been to destroy the order concerning edification, practice, and doctrine of the apostles in the true church, who said, Let all speak one by one. If any thing be revealed to another that sits by, let the first hold his peace. The spirit of the prophets is subject to the prophets.' From this you are apostatized, and have gotten a law to stop the practice of this in your church apostacy, whose doors, many of them, you keep with clubs and staves, lest any should be moved from the spirit of the Lord to speak amongst you from the Lord. And your parishes and flock which you undertake to prove to be a true church; alack for you! that people should be so impudent as to say these are the pillars and ground of truth, or that the steeple-houses are the pillars and ground of truth! A company of drunkards, swearers, coretous, proud persons, given to pleasures, you are, like them that said they were Jews, and were not, but the synagogue of satan, a nest of unclean birds.
P. We expect not perfect unity, till we have perfect knowledge and holiness.'
A. Ilave you cried up yourselves to be the ministers of Christ all this while, and have not perfect knowledge, perfect holiness, perfect unity? The least unity is perfect in the spirit, and the least knowlcdge, and the least holiness in the spirit; and you acknowledge you have not perfect unity, perfect
. knowledge, perfect holiness, and this hath been the cause you have kept all people since the apostles ia blindness, out of the unity, in that which is unholy, who say you have not the perfect knowleulge, for the least degree of holiness is perfec: and in the holiness is the unity, in which is the perfect knowledge, though in the least degree. And this thou hast confessed you har: not, and we do believe you; and from thy own words thou and you are proved unsanctified; for who are sanctified have perfect unity, perfect knowledge, perfect holiness.
P. 'I use notes as much as any man, when I am lazy or busy,' &c. A. This is what holds up your lazy minds, what you gather out of
books, selling it again by the hour-glass; and you make that day you call the sabbath your market day, selling both prayers and preaching, who have not the spirit of the Lord to lead you to speak as it moves,
, and to lead you to all truth as it did the disciples. So it is laziness indeed that hath set up your notes, and you read them by the glass for money, and have learned seven years out of books and colleges, and then gather up notes out of your authors and books, and thus make a trade of them, and then tell the people you are sent, and it is the word of the Lord, when it is but from the reading of books! And yet you tell people you never heard the voice of God, if any ask you; and thus deludcrs are judged out of their own mouths, who have a law, if any are moved of the spirit of the Lord, while they are reading their notes, or speaking before or after, none are to speak against what they have gathered out of their books and studies; which was not the work of the true ministry, but the work of those who were out from the truc spirit, and so were ministers of the letter, and old authors, and notes.
P. He saith, “They are unmerciful men that say, more glorious days are appearing, and that the saints shall rule the world.'
1. In this thou hast judged thyself, and there need no more words be spoken to it. And the rest of thy lies and slanders in thy book, are not worth mentioning, they will fall upon thy own head.
John Cole's Book, (printed 1658,) his principles in it follow.
P. 'It is a common thing for the young harlot to say, mind the light within.
A. The light which cloth enlighten every man who cometh into the world, draws from all harlots, and they are out of it; and such may beget proselytes, and father them upon God, who are not in the truth; but the day is come that all things are made manifest, and by it do appear. And the light which every man which cometh into the world is enlightened withal, is the offence to all the evil doers who are out of salvation and the covenant of God, and none sec salvation but by it.
P. The young harlot can but mend evil old Adam by her exhortations, and instructions, and doings, and threatenings, and she doth fright some to her obedience.'
A. The harlot is in that which evil old Adam is in, in the transgression; and so they who are harloted from the spirit of God cannot mend and instruct the transgressor, they themselves being in the transgression. They may tell them of the saints' words, and speak them,
as the devil doth, who is out of the truth; but thou, John Cole, art fallen into the earth, and there art quarrelling.
And as for the rest of the stuff in thy book it is not worth mentioning; but when thou feels the root and tree burn and fall into a fire about thce, and thou in it, then remember thou hast not that which doth svour, as thy confused, childish works do make appear, which in print thou hast published to the world.
Alexander Ross's Book, which he calls, 'A view of all Religions.'
His Lies and Principles.
P. God is not in the quaking of the body.'
A. Was it not God that made the body of David to quake? and Daniel, and IIabakkuk, and Job? And the mountains quaked at the giving forth of his law. And doth not God say, 'he doth not shake the carth, but heaven also?' Now dost not thou manifest thyself to be one of them that cast those out that tremble at the word, and tell them that God is not among them?
And as for Alexander Ross's lies and slanders, in saying the Quakers said, Christ had failings, and distrusted God; which thousand of thousands that can witness to thy face thou art a liar, it is a sufficient proof to them that thy book is made up of such stuff, of lies, which is thy view from the creation. And the rest of thy book is much like unto that. And the false prophets studying a divination of their own brain, to get money by we deny; but such as divide the word aright wa own. And all that pray, and preach, and sing for money, and make a trade of the scripture to get money by, we disown; but such as pray and sing by the spirit we own. And all your readings for money we dcny; but who read freely we own. And all your ceremonies we do deny, and are come to the substance Christ Jesus, who was before the world was made.
P. «The leaves of a tree are not the fruits thereof, and yet withoe: them the fruit would not prosper.'
1. Art thou a sit man to give a view from the creation of the world who crrest thus in naturals? For, pluck off the leaves of the vines, a:
grapes will not prosper? Art thou a fit man to give a vit of religion, and blasphemy, and crror, from the creation, who art 33" able to give a true view of the naturals?
P. Thou sayest, 'It is horrid blasphemy to say the scripture is 23: the word of God, and to say the soul is a part of God.'
A. The scriptures are the words of God in Exodus, and the fou? books of the Revelations, but Christ is the word in whom they end: and it is not horrid blasphemy to say the soul is a part of God, for i
sec if the
came out of him, and that which came out of him, is of him, and rejoiceth in him.
Why wilt thou lic, in saying the Quakers deny the word? We say, it sanctifies them.
His lies. Christ is not ascended into heaven; that there is no heaven, nor hell, nor resurrection of the body; that we have no sacrament nor trinity.'
A. As for the words sacrament and trinity, they are from the pope, the mass-book, and the bishops' common prayer; but unity and the Lord's supper are owned; and heaven, hell, Christ, and ascension, and resurrection are owned by the Quakers, as the scriptures declare them. And your old mass-house, with the cross atop of it, which you call your church, the beast hath set up since the days of the apostles, with his lying sign at the end of it, thc pope's cross. And Christ came to destroy self, and reconcile into one; and Christ forbid men to be called of men master, and said the Pharisees did so. And magistrates are owned in their place; but all those ministers that teach for filthy lucre, that serve an apprenticeship at schools and colleges like tradesmen, such we deny, such are not fit to study nor expound scripture; for they bring people into heats and into blood, as their fruits in christendom declare. But the prophets, Christ, and his apostles and ministers, their practices are owned, and elders, and their honour; but the honour of the false prophets and apostles is defaced by the true. And the scripture doth not speak a word of sprinkling of infants, but the baptism of the spirit is owned. And all your prayers in your mass-house, Pharisce like, and your songs in the temple shall be turned into howling; but that which is according to the spirit of God is owned; and private and public instructions are owned that are in the spirit of God; and David's psalms in their place are owned, and the saints' singing with understanding also we own.
P. They say, “The Church is in God, therefore God is not in the church, they may say.'
A. This is like thy reason, and thy measure and weight. The church is in God, and God is in the church; and where two or three are gathered together, he is in the midst of them.
P. He says, “We speak against tithes and clerks' wages for saying, Amen, and this thou sayst is an absurd opinion.'
A. Tithes before the law, and in the law, were owned, that they should give the tenth of the spoil and the tenth of the carth, for the services that were required, for widows, strangers, fatherless, and Levi who had no portion in the earth, that there might not be a beggar among them; these tenths preserved them from beggars, and this was the law. And Melchizedeck, who was without father or mother, took the tenth of the spoil, before the law; and Christ the end of the law,